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New Jersey firefighters battle warehouse blaze

Posted on by SST

It took multiple firefighter crews more than 30 hours to get control of a fire at the Dietz & Watson distribution center in Delanco, N.J. Sept. 1, the Register News reported.

Multiple firefighter crews – more than 100 firefighters in all – were called to the 12-alarm fire at the 300,000-square-foot, five story Dietz & Watson facility that reportedly caught fire around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. However, the intensity of the blaze prompted more crews throughout the night to relieve firefighters and join the long line of trucks pumping water toward the compromised facility. Florence Township Station 401 arrived at 1000 Coopertown Road after the second alarm prompted more firefighters to join the water supply pipeline assignment at 2 p.m., while other crews actively engaged in fire suppression tactics.

"Ladder 4015 was on location in Delanco (Tuesday), assisting with hitting hot spots from 7 p.m. to midnight," Florence Township Fire Department Chief Keith Scully told Register News. "We flowed approximately 800,000 gallons of water today, also. … Engine 4012 responded with four members and upon arrival became part of a water supply relay with seven other engines, laying 7,000 feet of 5-foot supply line to supply water to a rapidly growing fire."

Size matters
Even after the blaze was considered under control around 5:40 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2, smoke continued to make its way into local neighborhoods. One resident, Marioni Mourey, had concerns over the substance of the smoke. Mourey told Philadelphia's ABC affiliate WPVI that she's a runner, and the smoke is causing her to breathe heavier than normal, adding that she hoped it wasn't toxic. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

"Thankfully, all Dietz & Watson employees are safe," Louis Eni, CEO of Dietz & Watson said in a statement about the fire. "Right now, our efforts are focused on supporting the New Jersey firefighters and emergency officials who are battling the fire and ensuring that all are kept safe. These brave first-responders are our friends and neighbors. We are humbled by their efforts."

Some firefighters on the scene cited the fire's location – in the center of the building's roof – posed a significant challenge. Due to the vast size of the facility, firefighters could not properly douse the fire from the top, WPVI reported.

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